Inside The Bills

Why no 7-on-7 for Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2012 – 11:37 am

On Monday and Tuesday Ryan Fitzpatrick did not take any snaps during 7-on-7 team work in practice. Head coach Chan Gailey said there was more than one reason why it was done.

“It was two-fold,” said Gailey. “Ryan had taken a bunch of throws and we wanted to get him some rest. We wanted the other guys to make a lot of throws and further evaluate those two guys. So it was really a two-fold things. Ryan didn’t throw the one-on-ones for a couple of days. So we’re taking that opportunity to rest him and get them reps.”

Fitzpatrick was fine with giving his arm a break, but says his arm is in good shape at this point.

“They’re just giving me a little more rest and giving those guys some reps in the 7-on-7 stuff,” he said. “That’s a good time to go through your reads and make sure you’re throwing to the right guy. To me that team work (11-on-11) is really important in terms of the live rush and doing that so I wanted to make sure I focused on that and gave the other guys some time in 7-on-7’s and get down some of the timing and throws.”

The Bills QB says once you get to the preseason games and have off days coming out of those games there really is no concern about burning out your throwing arm.

“My arm feels good and once you hit the season you’re not throwing every day so it’s never an issue,” he said.


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Good news for DT Heard

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2012 – 11:32 am

Bills DT Kellen Heard limped off the practice field Tuesday night as the team took x-rays of his injured right leg. Head coach Chan Gailey had good news however, on Heard’s condition.

“Tests were negative and he fought through (practice),” said Gailey after Wednesday’s final practice session at St. John Fisher. “He wasn’t 100 percent, but he made it through practice and will get better in the next two days and may be able to play.”

Heard has been battling high ankle sprains and other leg ailments since the spring.

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Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2012 – 10:11 am

Here are today’s non-participants at practice.

Justin Rogers
Josh Nesbitt
Robert Eddins
James Carmon
Erik Pears
Kevin Brock

Kellen Heard was participating in individual position drills at about half speed. He suffered a right ankle injury in practice last night.

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Players eager to face Vikes

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2012 – 10:43 pm

With camp officially coming to a close after a brief practice Wednesday, which is closed to the public, Bills players are eager to face another team instead of each other again.

“Yes it is time,” said Stephon Gilmore. “I am ready to go against other teams because we have been going against each other and have been wanting to hit each other so it is going to be a good feeling getting hit by other teams and trying to get wins.”

The Bills second preseason game is Friday at 8 pm at the Metrodome.

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Players like new camp rules

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2012 – 10:40 pm

Under the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, two-a-days are a thing of the past at NFL training camps. No more than six straight days of practice are allowed. All of the new restrictions have player coming out of camp feeling a whole lot fresher than they have in the past.

“We love it,” said team player rep George Wilson. “Anybody that was here under the old CBA and go through the days of two-a-days and back-to-back two-a-days knows how valuable those changes have been. For a lot of older players it can allow them to extend their careers. A lot of younger players it keeps them healthy longer at a younger age. So I really think it’s going to benefit the players and the owners because your money makers are going to continue to be healthy.”

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McGee update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2012 – 6:17 pm

Bills CB Terrence McGee is battling his way back from a torn patellar tendon and major knee surgery. He’s been used sparingly with the second unit in team work and has done a lot of work on the side with the strength and conditioning staff as well. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update on his progress.

“When you talk about percentages of where he is he gains a percentage or two every day,” said Gailey of McGee. “He never makes a jump of 10-15 percent so it’s slowly but surely coming. He can do most everything except a couple of things in his movements.”

McGee is clearly not moving like he is when fully healthy, though his lateral agility is improved. Still, it would be a surprise if he dressed for Friday night’s preseason game.

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Gailey on Jasper release

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2012 – 5:54 pm

The release of OL Mike Jasper Monday might have come as a surprise to some, but as we covered in our report on the roster move, Jasper had trouble taking his game to the next level.

“He just wasn’t making the progress that we thought and give him a chance to get him with another team if possible because he wasn’t going to make it here,” said head coach Chan Gailey.

Jasper struggled to play consistently and execute his assignments. He also bent at the waist a few too many times instead of with his knees and wound up on the ground more often than offensive linemen want to in the practice setting.

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Nelson does more; Pears back

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2012 – 4:24 pm

Bills WR David Nelson did more at practice Tuesday and RT Erik Pears saw his most extensive work in over a week.

Nelson, who did just individual position drills Monday, factored into some team work Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Pears, who got a good report from a specialist on his strained groin not only practiced for the first time, but even saw some a few team reps to being the team portions of practice. Seeing him suit up in the game on Thursday night however, might be a bit of a long shot.

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Wannstedt: Mario has complete game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2012 – 4:22 pm

Certainly sacks are the first thing most fans think of when someone mentions the name Mario Williams. And while sacks are valuable, Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt believes fans are going to be surprised by how well-rounded a player Williams is at defensive end.

“The great thing about him is I believe he will be just as big an asset when we look back on this versus the run as he is versus the pass,” Wannstedt said. “Everyone likes to think, defensive ends, pass rushers, and sacks. Well the other side of the coin is that you have to stop the run first. With his physical play, using his hands well with great size and physical strength and his technique is good. He will bring just as much to the run (game) as he will rushing the passer.”

That’s why it’s going to be just as interesting to see how much Buffalo’s defense can improve their run defense ranking this season as their sack total.

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Reed’s expectations for 2012 Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2012 – 9:03 am

Bills all-time leading receiver Andre Reed was in attendance at Bills training camp Monday and was asked for his predictions for the team in 2012.

“Nobody expected them last year to do anything and they were 5-2 last year,” said Reed. “They got a little bit of the injury bug and kind of lost a little mojo there towards the middle of the season. Definitely expecting some big things. With the addition of Mario Williams and how he is going to work with (Marcell) Dareus, Kyle Williams and how is (Shawne) Merriman going to be this year. Expectations on defense are phenomenal.

“Offensively, you just have to rely on your main guys. Ryan (Fitzpatrick) doing what he has to do. It will be interesting to see what they do with the running backs with Fred Jackson and (C.J.) Spiller. I think in the league now you have to have two guys who can do different things. Both of those guys are phenomenal at what they do. If Chan (Gailey) does it right, uses those guys right, it will take a lot of pressure off of Ryan and the passing game.”

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Andre’s take on Stevie

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2012 – 7:30 am

Bills Wall of Famer and all-time leading receiver Andre Reed was at Bills camp Monday and was asked for his thoughts on current Bills number one wideout Stevie Johnson.

“I see a little bit of me in a way,” said Reed. “Maybe not some of the little antics he does. Stevie is one of those players where he is just consistent. I think he definitely brings that experience. You look at the roster and you look at the receivers, it is not a lot of experience on the field that they have. He is five years in the league. It is kind of the peak of his career right now. They are going to look to him.”

What Reed is most interested in seeing is how the number two receiver job plays out.

“You never know who is going to be that number two guy, but that is a battle that is going to go through training camp,” said Reed. “It will be interesting to see who is going to take some pressure off of him.”

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Andre focused on Bills not HOF

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 8:00 pm

Bills Wall of Famer Andre Reed was on hand at Bills training camp Monday taking in the afternoon practice. When asked if he thinks very much about still being in contention for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame he offered the following response.

“No, I do not even think about it anymore,” said Reed initially before correcting himself. “It is not that I do not think about it. My Twitter was going crazy yesterday and the day before. There were a lot of Bills fans there in Canton even though nobody got inducted from the Bills. Just getting a lot of love from Bills fans and people all over the country that say, ‘Next year we want to be here when you are here.’”

“When it happens, it happens. This is eight years now. So it is no different than any other year. I did a lot of media last year and I think this year I am probably not going to do as much of the media thing. I will talk about it a lot once it comes up a little bit more. I’ll be more interested in watching this (Bills) team this year. Getting out of this 12-year funk of not being in the playoffs. That is just not acceptable around here, definitely.”

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Barnett practices thru stitches

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 7:54 pm

Bills LB Nick Barnett suffered a small gash on his forearm in practice Saturday, but didn’t miss any of his assigned reps in practice Monday after requiring some stitches to close up the wound.

“Yeah, he got cut on his arm the other night and he had a couple of stitches in there,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “I do not think he missed a rep today. That was impressive.”

Barnett told that his forearm was cut open when it collided and scraped across a rivet on an offensive player’s helmet.

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Outlook for Pears

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 7:51 pm

Erik Pears is still not back on the practice field getting reps in any capacity, but there was some good news concerning the right tackle’s healthy moving forward.

Out for the past week plus with a groin injury, head coach Chan Gailey said a visit to a specialist by Pears went well.

“I don’t know yet. We’re going to make that decision tomorrow or the next day. If Erik can’t play, which it looks like right now that won’t happen, both of them will play Hairston and Sam will both play.”

“It looks good to be honest with you,” said Gailey. “He saw the specialist and he gave him some things to work with. It looks like it’s going to pay dividends. He was trying to get out here to practice. I think it looks a lot better than it did three days ago that’s for sure.”

Pears had hernia surgery in the spring, so a groin injury was of some concern to Gailey. But with the current outlook it sounds as if he’ll be back practicing sooner rather than later. However, it would be a surprise if he plays in the team’s first preseason game Thursday night leaving Sam Young and Chris Hairston to likely share the starting right tackle role against Washington.

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Jones feeling good about his game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 7:45 pm

Bills WR Donald Jones appears to still have a slight edge over Derek Hagan for the #2 WR job opposite Stevie Johnson, but the third-year wideout is not resting on his solid spring or good first week of camp.

“You cannot take a day off at any position, whether you are battling or not,” said Jones. “You cannot come out here and take a day off.  You should be coming out here, getting better every day and as a professional it is what you should be doing. Nobody should be out here just taking a day off.”

Jones has caught just about every pass thrown to him. He has himself marked down for two drops all camp. His best play Monday was his climb up the ladder to outjump a pair of defenders to make a touchdown catch during red zone work. 

“I feel like I am doing good,” he said. “I have definitely caught basically all the passes that I have had thrown at me except for that earlier one today which I was really (upset) about. I feel like I am doing good.”

It’s without question Jones’ most consistent camp of his young career.

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Troup improving?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 9:39 am

Torell Troup missed Saturday’s practice altogether as he was not even out on the field as a spectator after working in individual position drills almost every practice prior to that. Head coach Chan Gailey said a bad day at practice last Friday prompted his absence Saturday as he battles his way back from back surgery. But Troup had an interesting tweet this morning.

Troup tweeted the following Monday morning.

TorellTroup Goin to be a good day

While that message isn’t specific by any means, one would think it improves his likelihood of being on the practice field in some capacity Monday afternoon. We’ll keep you posted.

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Why slot might be fit for Leodis

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2012 – 12:37 pm

Leodis McKelvin has largely lined up as a boundary corner in his four previous seasons for the Bills. That could change significantly this season if he begins the year where he’s lined up for almost all of training camp.

McKelvin has been the team’s primary nickel corner working out of the slot since the spring practices. Head coach Chan Gailey shed some light on why the defensive coaches believe it could be a good spot for him.

“He has great quickness and great speed and the only trouble he has had is with the deep ball and you don’t get many deep balls in the slot,” said Gailey. “So you’re trying to let him do what he does best without him having to worry about something that he’s struggled with in the past.”

Gailey has also referenced the plan to get McKelvin’s confidence up and not giving up big plays always helps in that effort. McKelvin needs to have a big season with this being the last year of his rookie contract.

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Minor setback for Troup?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2012 – 7:03 pm

Torell Troup has been fighting his way back from offseason back surgery and the progress for the defensive tackle has been incremental. On Friday he apparently had a small setback and wasn’t even out on the field Saturday.

“He was just… they kept him in,” said Chan Gailey after Saturday’s practice. “He had a bad day (Friday) and they kept him inside today.”

Gailey did not provide any other details. Troup had two vertebrae in his lower back fused as part of his surgery this offseason. He’s valiantly tried to power through the individual position drills in practice every day, but it doesn’t appear like his body is cooperating very much as he often was moving at half speed. Now it’s hard to know what lies ahead for the defensive tackle.

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Kyle practices with wrap on leg

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2012 – 6:58 pm

Kyle Williams went through all of practice without any limitations, but he had his right thigh and groin area wrapped up to get through it.

“I have a little something going on but it is just precautionary and not to let it get any worse,” he said. “I will have a day off and I should be fine. It’s a groin deal.”

With the team’s scheduled off day on Sunday, Williams is confident with treatment that he’ll be good to go Monday and may not even need the wrap.

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Scott and Heard updates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2012 – 6:51 pm

Bryan Scott and Kellen Heard returned to the fold in practice Saturday, but one had a heavier workload than the other.

Scott, who missed Friday’s practice with a thigh contusion, was back practicing in full on Saturday doing all team work. Heard however, only participated in individual position drills coming off of an ankle injury that kept him out for a week. Having missed most of the spring practices due to the same ankle being injured, team doctors examined Heard’s ankle further to see if they had missed anything in their diagnosis. Gailey got that report back.

“No, it was nothing major that they had missed,” Gailey said. “It was what they thought originally. It’s just taken a lot longer. He’s one that thye say we’ll get back and get to start work with him on Monday.”


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